Saturday, May 15, 2010


Have you ever wondered why after only 2hrs of preschool children usually take a nap?  I was watching this great group of 3yr olds during closing circle.  All of them were snuggled into there grownups lap lazily listening to the goodbye song, eyes were drooping and bodies were sagging - they were spent.  It was a precious moment.

Of course the educator in me started to wonder.  How is it that these bundles of energy can be wiped out by just two hrs of preschool?  So, I started to pay attention in all my classes and look for where exactly they were wearing themselves out.

The answer I discovered was EVERYWHERE.  

Preschoolers do everything on full blast.  They are always giving 100%.  I noticed that a 1/2 hr recess can bring some to a full sweat, brows getting seriously furrowed as they concentrated at the writing table, snack eaten like this was the best cheese ever tasted, and little actresses playing princess who held on to that character better than Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelley. 

Children don't seem to have an understanding or a desire to do thing half way (unless it's about household chores, but even then their avoidance is 100%).   What ever they focus on and try they give there all.  Projects or games, when they are interested in them, have their full attention and full energy focus.   Just watch.  You will never see a preschooler kinda painting or sorta building with blocks.  If they love something you know it, and if they don't you know that too.  100% is not some motto or something they've been told to do, it is how they navigate the world.

What about the "Boreds" you say?  Well, they do those 100% too.  How many times in five minutes can you say "I'm bored!"  I bet they have you beat.  Maybe they are bored because there is nothing they feel like expending 100% of themselves on.  Imagine if you gave everything 100%, would you be less likely to be interested in doing something you were not extremely passionate about?  I would.

Today's life lesson
Its so simple, I bet you can see it coming....Try something at 100%.  Whether you go out for a run, or cook something new, read a new book or go dancing with friends.  Practice giving your all.  Push yourself to the limit and see if you can find the point where you are so engrossed in something you forget how much time has past.  Enjoy the moments 100% and see how much that changes you perspective and you priorities on how you want to spend you time.

Today's Parenting Lesson
Children love to be engaged.  They thrive on being able to give something all their attention and all their energy.  They aren't born looking for a way to get out of doing something, they just want to love what they are doing.  How can you make that happen for them?  Think of ways that you can foster their interests and sometimes take advantage of their desire to go all out with everything they do.  Make cleaning fun, (why do you think preschool teachers all have a "cleanup song").   To get rid of the "boreds" try asking them for some direction on what to do and it that fails show them something you love - and show them at 100%.  Sometimes, just honor their being bored, we've all been there and we have all had to figure out what to do, what interests us enough to make us stop being bored at 100% and start doing at 100%.  AND - of course just watch and enjoy the moments aware of the fact that their 100% for 2 hrs will almost guarantee you a free 2 hrs, while they nap, to do something you love.  BUT remember to do it 100%.